Prosecuting Mass Rape: Prosecutor v. Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovac and Zoran Vukovic

Author: Buss, D.

Source: Feminist Legal Studies, Volume 10, Number 1, 2002 , pp. 91-99(9)

Publisher: Springer

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The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal convicted three men for their role in the mass rape of Muslim women during the conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina. That decision is a landmark in many respects, but primarily for its determination that the rape of Muslim women amounted to a crime against humanity. This comment provides an overview of the decision, exploring the significance of recognising rape as a crime against humanity within the context of other developments in the area of wartime rape and sexual violence. The comment also provides a brief review of the decision in light of the author's previous scepticism about the capacity for the Tribunal meaningfully to address violence against women. The comment concludes that while many aspects of the decision are promising, the war crimes trial itself may offer a limiting arena within which to address wartime rape.

Keywords: Yugoslavia; international law; rape; violence; war

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: School and Department of Law, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK, E-mail:

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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